German Gymnasts Protesting Against Sexualisation Of The Sport Fail To Make Final
The German gymnastics team who have been wearing unitards in protest against the sexualisation of gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics have not qualified for the finals.
Until now, full-length bodysuits have only been worn for religious reasons. However, the decision was made by the team to make younger athletes feel more comfortable in not having to wear revealing clothing. Clothing such as the leotards are most traditional in most gymnastic competitions.
German gymnast Sarah Voss told the BBC, ‘We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example.’
The German Federation (DTB) released a statement on Twitter reading, ‘Against sexualisation in gymnastics. European Championship gymnasts of the DTVB start in Basel in long gymnastics suits. The aim is to present aesthetically – without feeling uncomfortable.’
However, while the traditional gymnastic leotard may indeed be a thing of the past, other areas of sport have not been so progressive in their rules and regulations surrounding outfits. Last week, the Norwegian Handball Team insisted on wearing shorts during their match against Spain in Bulgaria and were subsequently fined.
The team was punished for contravening the regulations that state that women competing in handball competitions must wear bikini bottoms, regardless of what the players feel more comfortable wearing.
In comparison, Germany’s women’s gymnastics team was applauded for the change of outfit, with NBC Boston reporting that the announcer over the loudspeaker called the outfits ‘very nice indeed’.
Voss told Insider, ‘For me, it doesn’t say I have to wear a long leotard in the future every time. It depends on how I am feeling and how I’d like to perform.
‘Every time you don’t feel safe it’s distracting you from what you want to perform. I think that feeling safe and not thinking about what other people can or cannot see is quite relieving when you can compete like that.
Some girls quit this beautiful sport so that is why this is a great option for everyone to stay in the sport they love and don’t think about anything else about their body, just about their performance.
While the team were unsuccessful in proceeding to the finals, it is hoped that the legacy of Voss’s #Itsmychoice protest will live on.
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